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Resource economy widens economic gap: UBC prof

 Sara Norman

A UBC professor is warning if all levels of government in Canada don’t change their approach to our economy, the gap between the rich and poor will continue to widen. William Rees said Canada has made a mistake in pushing resource development, which he explains typically only creates one job per million-dollar investment.

The better way to get people working, according to Rees, is retrofitting buildings, cars and appliances to be more environmentally sustainable. Rees claims this approach would create up to seven long-term jobs per million-dollars of investment, many in innovation and manufacturing.

 “We’ve slipped back into a 19th century mentality of being hewers of wood and haulers of water, and of course fossil fuels into the rest of the world. We’ve simplified our economy,” said Rees.

He added the economy has never been bigger, but only the richest ten percent of Canada make the majority of profit, with the poorest twenty percent falling deeper into debt.  

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